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Singapore Department of Statistics has published the retail sales index for the month of June.

The total retail sales exclude motor vehicles have increased 19% year-on-year ($2.7 billion). Month-to-month also increased 0.4%. Online sales accounted for 18.4% of the overall sales. So if your business is not online yet, you are missing out. Of course, it’s not just about putting up a website and the sales will come automatically. In my future articles, I’m gonna share with you some of the important keys to run a successful online business.

When we look at the sales report, we also need to analyze them from the overall context. That will give us a more holistic view of how our economy is performing. We are comparing it with the same season last year when the Covid-19 just broke out in Singapore. We have just ended the Circuit Breaker in June 2020. Shops started to open up but people were still a little apprehensive and unsure of what’s coming ahead. This year June we were in Phase 3 (almost. If it’s not because of the KTV cluster) Market was optimistic with the vaccination progress. 20% of firms are optimistic about the business conditions while 9% of firms foresee slower business conditions.

Retail Sales Index-June 2021

Things might be taking a turn in the coming months. Considering we are still having a high Covid-19 infection in Singapore. What is your take? What strategy are you taking to continue navigating through the uncertainty?

I think there are few things that we need to consider.

  1. The industry that you are in.
  2. Your short-term and long-term business stretegy.
  3. The technology adoption stretegy.

The Industry Factor

The industry that you are in plays a vital factor in your business survival. If you are in the wrong industry, you need to decide quickly what changes you need to make to continue to survive.

Consumer behavior has taken to sharp turn due to the pandemic. Not that we don’t enjoy shopping at the brick-and-mortar store, we just can’t. Industries like travel, events and music are being hit badly.

Short-term and long-term business stretegy

Covid-19 is likely gonna live with us for a long time in different variants. For the SMEs, although is very challenging, we can adjust and adapt quickly. Short-term change of the company strategy keeps us survive, while we are re-evaluating our long-term strategy.

Having more diversified sales channels can be one of the approaches. Retailers not only just selling the products in-store and online, but also can work with micro-influencers to bring them to their niche market.

Technology adoption

We have been hearing digital transformation. The government has been talking about it. We even have a variety of government grants available for SMEs to apply. But we can’t blindly adopt technology that doesn’t help our business to improve. Your team will still be inefficient after implementing an inventory system if you don’t have a good inventory process in place.

I strongly believe that technology is a catalyst for our business. It will only work well when we are clear on what problems we need to solve.

Let’s continue to stay open and agile to navigate through this challenging season. Until then, stay safe and keep learning.